On 1 March 2022, five 19th-century medals were stolen from the Hollytrees Museum in the English town of Colchester. Police were called shortly before 9:30 pm on Tuesday evening, according to a police spokesperson.
At around 8:30 pm, it seems, a thief broke in and stole three gold medals and two bronze medals from a display cabinet. The police have released images from the CCTV cameras and are appealing for information about the suspect’s identity.
Local councillor Darius Laws expressed his shock, stating: ‘This is not simply the theft of gold medals, but it is the theft of Colchester’s heritage. I would appeal to those responsible to reconsider what they have done, do the right thing and return the medals so everyone in Colchester can enjoy them.’
All five of the stolen medals are closely tied to the history of Colchester; they were awarded to local engineering firm Davey Paxman & Co. in the 19th century. The pieces had been on display since May 2021 and were repositioned the week before the break-in. The following awards were stolen:
- Bronze medal from Paris Exhibition, 1878
- Bronze medal from the Sydney International Exhibition, 1879
- Gold medal from the Crystal Palace International Exhibition, 1882
- Gold medal from the London International Exhibition of Mining and Metallurgy, 1890
- Gold medal from the Crystal Palace Electrical Exhibition, 1892
If you have any information that could be relevant to the case, you should contact Essex Police and quote the case number 42/53042/22.